Celebrating 40th Anniversary

Celebrating 40th Anniversary

by St. John's, Lakeport

The Rev. Leo M. Joseph, O.S.F., celebrated his 40th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014. The community celebrated with Fr. Leo, his friends and church parishioners at the Sunday services at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lakeport.

A native of New York, Fr. Leo entered a Mariavite Old Catholic Franciscan religious order in New York City in 1970 and received his Franciscan habit two years later. After studying for the priesthood in the Franciscan order in New York and Canada, Fr. Leo was ordained as a priest in Montreal by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Fehervary, the Mariavite Old Catholic Bishop of Budapest living in exile.

Fr. Leo relocated to San Francisco in 1979. After several months of a teaching project in Nigeria, he began working with elderly shut-ins under the auspice of a Syro-Chaldean monastic community. At this time, he studied the theological and liturgical traditions of that branch of Christianity.

In 1985, he arranged to purchase property in Kelseyville, which is now Little Portion Hermitage. He and two lay Franciscan brothers relocated to the property in 1989, where Fr. Leo designed and built the Oratory of Saint Georges.

Fr. Leo made his first formal contact with St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lakeport in 1990. This led to his being received into The Episcopal Church, as a life professed religious in 1995 and then as a priest in 1997. He was named priest-in-charge at St. John’s, Lakeport in 2009.

Fr. Leo has nurtured his love of art, architecture, history and good food by extensive travel in Europe, where he has many close friendships. He maintains close ties with the Old Catholic Church in the Netherlands and made two pilgrimages to Assisi, the city of St. Francis, and to Plock, Poland, the location of the original Mariavite monastery.

For the past three and a half years, Fr. Leo has been living with an incurable cancer. Originally given three months to live, he has been in the loving care of Hospice Services of Lake County. Now as one of their longest lived patients, Hospice has enabled Fr. Leo to continue to minister to his devoted parishioners, despite his increasing disability. This celebration of gratitude marks both the completion of 40 years of ministry and the fact that he is still here to celebrate with us.


1 comment (Add your own)

1. Minerva Haddad, St. Patrick's, Kenwood wrote:
Fr. Leo is an outstanding person and priest. He is constantly in our prayers, and we are all fortunate to have his presence among us for these 40 years. God's richest blessings to him in the weeks, months, and years ahead.

Tue, April 22, 2014 @ 6:15 PM

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